How One Accountant Pulled It All Together In Under an Hour to Ensure a Client Had Money in the Bank

By PRETTY BOOKS ON November 17, 2020

BEHIND THE SCENES is a  collection of stories about relationships, challenges and wins in the day to day world of accountancy.

There is no typical day in the office for an accountant. They might start each day at the same time checking a work email, but after that, anything goes. Between business emergencies, problems emerging with books, reconciliation issues and beyond, accountants become much more than just number crunchers. They’re also firefighters, shoulders to lean on, friends, and allies.

It’s often overlooked how dedicated accountants can be to their client’s success. Although they may set regular office hours, it is not uncommon to find an accountant staying late or working on the weekends to meet urgent requests.

It was 5 p.m. when the accountant received an urgent request to help apply for a short-term loan. Her client received a large order that needed filled in two days, but because of the amount of product requested, they needed to apply for a borrowing base certificate (BBC) before the banks closed that evening.

“It was like a fire started in the office.”

A BBC is an application businesses submit to obtain a short-term loan from a bank. Over half the businesses in America depend on short-term loans to purchase the inventory needed to meet the demands of customer orders. BBCs are especially common in manufacturing, where companies are frequently required to fill customer orders before receiving payment.

For this client, the accountant routinely applied for a short-term loan on a set schedule to ensure there was enough time to complete the application. This request from her client was not only unexpected, but had to be completed before the bank closed in an hour. Usually, preparing and submitting the application took the accountant half a day.

“It was like a fire started in the office. I ran back to my desk and pulled up the business’ receivables and saw flames springing out of my computer.”

In order to submit a BBC, the accountant had to gather all the information necessary to create an updated report of the business’ orders, shipments, and customer payments up to the minute the application is submitted. To satisfy this requirement, the accountant had to go through all of the company’s bookkeeping records to make sure they reconciled against all other records.

Based on the business’ volume of invoices and shipments, she knew it would take more than one hour to reconcile the bookkeeping records and draft the application alone. Usually this task took her half a day to complete.

“Everything was in a rush. It was stressful not only for me, but also for everyone around me.”

Luckily, her teammates were still in the office and ready to jump into the fire to help. Even though it was past business hours, each team member tackled part of the blaze, from filling out the application to cross-checking the records.

With a coordinated team effort on super speed, the team was able to complete a half a day’s work in less than an hour. The BBC was submitted at 5:58 PM and the advance was available the next day, allowing the business to purchase all the inventory needed to fill the customer order on time.

“You want to tell your clients ‘No’ sometimes, but you can’t. As an accountant, you just have to realize the magnitude and impact it will have on your client. Even if it’s past business hours and you aren’t sure you can get it done on time, you just have to tell them, ‘Okay, we’ll do our best,’ and get to work

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The information provided in this post is for general informational and educational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional advice. Consult your financial, business, or tax advisor with respect to matters referenced in this post. Pretty Books assumes no liability for actions taken in reliance upon this information.
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